“The last time I cooked, hardly anyone got sick!”
If you happen to be a regular follower of this blog, I’m sure it’s quite obvious that I have an unhealthy penchant for all things Halloween; an obsession which I believe likley falls somewhere in the realm of “fetish”. Yep… it’s literally THAT intense. Each year, I host a Halloween Dinner Party that relies heavily on blood, gore & guts as its primary tablescape elements, so assembling today’s quaint & rustic cottage dinner setting was just a tad outside of my comfort zone to say the least! I mean, the two could NOT be further apart on the decor & dinner party spectrum. Nevertheless, I was totally up for the challenge & I HAVE to say that I completely nailed this one folks!
Rustic, Cottage Dinner Party Elements
SO if you’re really looking to compose a cohesive, rustic table setting for your guests, try incorporating the below three tips & tricks into your next dinner party setup… & voila, you’ll be more than Martha Stewart ready!
Select Earth Tones as your Primary Colours
Okay so the FIRST thing I like to establish before any dinner party is the colour palette I’ll be working with! Once that is settled, it makes selecting complimentary table elements & pieces a whole heck of a lot easier. For this particular dinner party, I wanted to utilize colours that embodied or reflected “nature” & would help create an earthy, rustic ambience. I therefore went with natural earth tones like greens, browns, neutrals & whites…. because duh, what else?!
Hot Tip: White dinnerware is essentially a dream to work with, because it will go with any number of dinner party themes or holiday gatherings! In terms of rustic, cottage vibes – use the white dinnerware as your base & then pull in elements like place settings or centrepieces to highlight the more Earth Tones. I’ve recently developed a love affair with burlap, & I think that a crisp white plate on burlap place settings would be positively stuh-ning (you can purchase burlap pretty cost effectively at the dollar store).
Use Produce & Herbs as the Centrepiece
You want your dinner party to be memorable for ALL the right reasons, & one surefire way to achieve this is to create a meal or dining experience that acts more like an event; something that your guests can essentially be active participants in. Incorporating edible centrepieces like fresh produce & herbs does JUST that. Not to mention, these natural, organic elements really drive home the whole rustic, cottage feel!
Plus more food is just always a super great idea.
Not only does an herb centrepiece literally bring nature RIGHT to your dinner table, but it allows guests to actually be involved in the meal prep experience because they can personally season their foods with the herbs laid right out there on the table. I mean… how fun! Plus this particular “look” has a very “wild” aesthetic to it. Similarly, have gorgeous, vibrant produce as part of your table setting also. It looks good… plus your guests can take a little nibble in between courses!
The idea here is to really make your table feel like a family style, farmhouse or cottage experience & methinks the above will totally do the trick!
Incorporate Natural Elements
Alright…. THIS is the fun part! I literally scoured the forest floor up north at the cottage to find natural elements to help bring the whole look together.
I used bark & pine needles – for no other reason simply than this is literally what was available in our backyard! AKA – use your own surroundings! It’s both cost-effective AND Eco-friendly, so snaps all ’round. Pine cones, leaves, fern, & twigs would all make for really incredible accents to each individual place setting.
Hot Tip: They always say it’s ALL in the details & I could not agree more! I usually like to throw in a little something extra on the plates to
showboat my awesome hosting skills WOW my guests – whether that be personalized menus, itineraries, ice breakers etc. For this settup, I made a menu out of tea stained scrap paper, & then proceeded to burn the edges for a vintage, antique vibe – my younger, grade school self would literally be SO proud! Seriously though, who else remembers doing this for assignments as a student?? Honestly, who cares… it still looks friggin incredible!
What are some of your favourite dinner party tips?!